Art Clokey is justly famous for his wonderful Gumby claytoons, but I also enjoy his more obscure series Davey & Goliath, which sometimes still pops up as early-morning religious TV programming, but is enjoyable for anyone who likes good stop-motion animation with a good, unpredictable story.
Davey & Goliath focuses on Davey Hansen (a boy) and Goliath (his dog, also
his conscience and/or Id) who live in a small everytown of the sort where everyone
knows everyone else. There is usually some involvement from his little sister, Sally,
his parents, and assorted friends.
Davey & Goliath was funded by the Lutheran Church in America, and was first syndicated in 1962. A second series was aired around 1965, and later special episodes have been made as recently as 1977. Since it was produced for the church, each episode teaches some sort of lesson relating to civic duties, morals and/or God, but it isn't really preachy. Nancy Moore wrote the excellent scripts. Voice talent is provided by Norma McMillan as Davey and Hal Smith as Goliath.
Although the camp value of 50's-style "Leave It To Beaver" religious ramblings is enough to provide entertainment, that joke would get old fast if not for the obvious care and imagination put into the sets, characters, animation and stories, all of which evolve drastically uphill in quality as the series progresses. Earlier episodes like "Lost in a Cave" look almost amateurish, but soon give way to the quality of "The Mechanical Man".
Clokey is always throwing surprises at us. For every episode that teaches about something simple like sharing, responsibility and respect, there is one with a heavier topic, such as racism ("Different"), intimidation by a criminal ("Who Me?"), and near-death experience ("Chicken").
"Down on the Farm" includes a skinny-dipping Davey!
In recent years, Davey & Goliath has popped up in the media from time to time:
To sum up my opinion, Davey & Goliath is funny in a campy way, but it is more
than that... the production values (sets, props, animation, etc.) range from crudely
funny (in really old episodes) to extremely advanced. The scripts are always engaging,
and it is fun to try to predict the moral with which each episode ends. Davey &
Goliath is good, solid entertainment.
Please feel free to email me, especially if you have some sort of Davey & Goliath info that I don't have.